Sienna Stark wants to make yoga accessible to children, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
This 13-year-old certified yoga instructor and Park City resident offers yoga programs on her website yogieflow.com.
Its motto is “Yoga for children, by children”.
âDuring my training as a yoga teacher, I discovered that most kids like me can’t get into a studio because yoga isn’t accessible to them,â Stark said. âThat’s why I decided to do Yogie Flow. I love to help and teach people whether they are friends or siblings. And when I teach, I learn too.
Stark offers basic principles of yoga, advanced yoga, meditation and yoga for athletes, in addition to a snow program for skiers and snowboarders.
âThis is something that I am still developing and adding to my website,â Stark said.
Competitive gymnastics ignited Stark’s love for yoga when she was 10 years old and lived in Arizona.
âWe always stretch before training and loved the stretching more than the gymnastics itself,â she said. “So I started doing the stretching at home, and that’s how I got into yoga.”
Stark liked the way she felt after stretching.
âI was relaxed and calm, and I felt free,â she said.
As Stark began to dig deeper into her yoga research, she and her mother, Maggie, began attending sessions in a studio.
âWe went there a few times a week and then a year for my birthday my parents signed me up for the studio’s yoga teacher training,â Stark said. âBut while I was doing this, I realized that I wasn’t learning anything new about yoga. So I changed studio.
After the change, Stark asked the instructor if they had a teacher training program.
“I found out you had to be 18 or over to do this, but my teacher contacted a company called Y2T2, which is yoga teacher training for teens.”
Stark signed up for the program and ended up in yoga heaven.
âI had a meditation instructor and a yoga instructor, and although I am still learning yoga continuously, I had learned what I needed to know to teach,â she said.
One of the things she learned was that yoga isn’t about flexibility or burning calories.
âYoga has evolved a lot since it came to America from India, and people are still trying to find ways to make it more interesting and modern,â she said. “But what I found is that people mostly exercise, and the real reason we do the poses is that we can meditate longer.”
After completing the 200 hour yoga requirement, Stark became a certified yoga instructor and began to think about her own program.
âI spent time thinking about the different courses I could take, and at first it was hard to figure out what I wanted to do,â she said. “But once I decided what I wanted, things just happened.”
Stark’s ultimate goal is to make yoga accessible to everyone.
âI want to travel the world to teach and find other people like me,â she said.